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The Soul of Dr. Franklin

Sunday, November 6: 2:30 p.m.
Posted by Dr. Mary Davis
Dr. Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin now holds the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, from Case Western Reserve University. Have I had a prouder moment in the 13 years I’ve been at CWRU than when I saw her in her blue robe, onstage with the university delegation, beaming as she received the award?  I don’t think so.  A more exciting introduction than the one that involved shaking Aretha’s hand and paying my respects? Definitely not. In the 16-year life of the American Music Masters series, CWRU has partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to honor some great artists, all of them influential beyond the realm of music; from Woody Guthrie to Sam Cooke to Janis Joplin, they made our world a better place and shaped our lives. But with Aretha – and I write this listening to my favorite record, I Never Loved A Man, even though I’ve been steeped in her music over the past months, because I can’t get enough – we had the great chance and good fortune to also recognize one of the amazing, transformative figures of our time with a CWRU degree. This was serious business: the university doesn ...


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